Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a truly amazing and miraculous time in any woman’s life! Each day brings new adventures, developments, and milestones. Each day also brings significant changes to the mother’s body. Throughout pregnancy, a woman’s spine, muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, and nerves are all stretched and pushed to their limits as baby grows and develops. It is truly remarkable how the body responds to a life growing within!
How A Woman’s Body Changes Throughout Pregnancy
- Pregnant women experience a surge in estrogen and progesterone, as well as changes in the amounts of other hormones. All of these hormonal changes can impact mood, create the pregnant “glow,” help the fetus develop and grow, and alter how physical activity and exercise impacts the body.
- A woman produces more estrogen during one pregnancy than throughout the rest of her life when not pregnant! This increase in estrogen helps the uterus and placenta transfer nutrients more effectively to the baby. Estrogen also helps the baby grow and mature. It’s sudden increase is also the culprit for “morning sickness” for many women.
- Progesterone levels also skyrocket during pregnancy. This causes a loosening in the ligaments and joints throughout the body. It also causes internal structures to increase in size, such as the uterus!
- During pregnancy, these hormonal changes impact a woman’s posture. As the abdomen expands with the growing baby, it increases the curvature of the spine. This shifts the center of gravity forward.
- Weight Gain, Fluid Retention, and Physical Activity
- Weight gain occurs throughout pregnancy and increases how hard the body works, especially during exercise. The additional weight and gravity change slow down blood circulation and bodily fluid circulation. This causes many pregnant women to swell in the legs, feet, hands, and face.
- Swelling typically picks up during the second trimester and continues on into the third trimester. The increase in fluid usually makes up around 25% of the weight gain in pregnant women.
- Weight gain during pregnancy is typically distributed as:
- Baby: 6-8 lbs
- Placenta: 1-2 lbs
- Uterus: 1-2 lbs
- Amniotic Fluid: 2-3 lbs
- Breast: 1-2 lbs
- Blood: 3-4 lbs
- Protein and Fat: 8-10 lbs
- Body Fluids: 3-4 lbs
- Physiological Changes
- Hair and Nails
- Hair and nail growth ramps up during pregnancy, but evens out post delivery. It’s important to keep (or start) a healthy way of eating in order to help baby grow, and to help keep hair and nails healthy!
- Vision Changes
- Some women experience increased myopia (nearsightedness) during pregnancy, but their vision returns to normal after delivery. Many pregnant women also experience blurriness and discomfort when wearing contacts.
- Taste and Smell Changes
- Certain taste preferences and cravings vary from trimester to trimester for most women. Some even experience a metallic taste in their mouth during pregnancy. Sense of smell is also often impacted by pregnancy, with women having a heightened ability to smell and sensitivity to some odors.
- Hair and Nails
- Circulatory System Changes
- Heartbeat and Blood Volume
- By the second trimester of pregnancy, a woman’s heart is working 40 percent harder than normal in order to pump blood through the body. This may lead to an increase in heart rate as well. Blood volume also increases during pregnancy.
- Heartbeat and Blood Volume
5 Ways Pregnant Women Benefit from Chiropractic
With all of the changes a pregnant woman’s body endures throughout pregnancy, it is important to take care of the nervous system! Read on for ways expectant women benefit from chiropractic:
1. Spinal alignment. Chiropractic helps keep the mother’s spine in proper alignment. As the baby develops and grows, increased pressure is placed on the spine. Chiropractic adjustments will help reduce this pressure, restore proper curvature to the spine, and reduce common aches and pains often associated with pregnancy.
2. Reduced pain levels. When subluxations in the spine exist, they often present as pain throughout the body. Chiropractic adjustments are a safe, holistic, and effective approach to treating aches and pains common throughout pregnancy. A proper adjustment can reduce back, neck, and hip pain, as well as reduce the occurrence of headaches and other ailments that can pop up as the body changes!
3. Strengthens and repairs joints. Due to hormonal and weight changes throughout pregnancy, a woman’s joints are under a lot of pressure. Chiropractic care helps reduce the stress of an expanding abdomen on a woman’s spine, hips, feet, legs, and ankles. A properly aligned spine helps evenly distribute the weight throughout the body, making it easier for joints to rest and do their job.
4. Pelvic alignment. Chiropractic care helps keep a woman’s pelvis is proper alignment. This has amazing benefits for both mom and baby before, during, and after delivery. A properly aligned pelvis helps get baby in the right position for birth, and allows mom and baby to have fewer interventions during the birthing process!
5. Easier recovery. It has been proven time and time again that chiropractic care helps mom recover from pregnancy and delivery faster. Expectant women who received chiropractic care throughout pregnancy report better posture, reduced pain, easier birth, increased mobility, and a faster recovery!
Let Gold Coast Chiropractic Help Both Mom and Baby Throughout the Pregnancy
Chiropractic care during pregnancy is an incredibly powerful and helpful healthcare tool for both mom and baby. It helps ensure the nervous system is functioning at its best. It also reduces pain, gets the spine and pelvis properly aligned, and strengthens joints. It can even lead to an easier birth and recovery!
If you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or have recently delivered, Gold Coast Chiropractic would be honored to walk through this journey with you. The benefits of chiropractic are numerous, and we would love to walk through this joyous time in your life while helping both mom and baby prosper.
Contact our offices today for your appointment! 312.988.9655 We look forward to hearing from you!
Gold Coast Chiropractic proudly serves Chicago and its suburbs with the highest quality chiropractic care.